This Copycat TGI Fridays Whiskey Glaze (also previously called Jack Daniels Sauce), is the perfect blend of sweet and savory. It’s amazing on chicken, beef, pork, seafood, veggies and more!
This is one of my Condiment recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a meal at TGI Fridays. But I still crave two things from that restaurant. The sesame jack chicken strips, and Jack Daniels sauce!
I did notice they’ve changed the name of the sauce and chicken strips, dropping the Jack Daniels name and calling it whiskey glaze. But I’m guessing the sauce itself still tastes the same. Fingers crossed!
But if you were a fan of their signature whiskey glaze back in the day, I’m here to make your food dreams come true. This glaze tastes just like their sauce, is easy to make at home, freezer-friendly, and goes with just about anything!
If you’ve never had Fridays whiskey glaze, you are in for a massive treat. It’s perfectly sweet and savory with a little spice. Perfectly baste-able and dip-able, it’s about the consistency of maple syrup.
So let’s see how to make it shall we?
How to make copycat TGI Friday’s whiskey glaze?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Roast garlic. This step can be done ahead to save time, or skipped altogether, but I think the roasted garlic really makes the glaze taste amazing.
- Bring the start of the sauce to a boil. Heating the pineapple juice, water, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to a boil, then reducing the heat to simmer helps all the sugar fully dissolve.
- Add garlic. I don’t like big clumps of garlic in my sauce, so I like to mash the cloves in a bowl first.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Simmer. Letting the sauce simmer for about 45 minutes is going to concentrate the flavor and reduce the sauce, which thickens it to a glaze consistency.
While you’re roasting garlic for this recipe, I would go ahead and roast an additional head or two. Roasting garlic completely changes the texture and flavor, and you’ll be wanting to use it in just about everything! Some of my favorite uses are a roasted garlic cream sauce, and roasted garlic hummus.
Variations of this recipe
- Non-roasted garlic – personally, I find roasted garlic gives this sauce the best flavor, but if you really don’t have time, or can’t get good quality fresh garlic, the jars of pre-minced garlic will work. I would use between 1 and 1 1/2 Tbsp.
- Alcohol-free – even though the vast majority (if not all) of the alcohol is cooked off during the reduction process, I understand some of you may not be able to use alcohol. The good news is, you can simply omit it and replace it with an equal amount of water.
- Light brown sugar – if you don’t have dark brown sugar, light brown sugar will work just fine. The sauce may be a little bit lighter in color, but should still taste great. You could also add a drizzle of molasses to the sauce, which would mimic the molasses-y flavor of the dark brown sugar.
- Solution for sauce not thickening – even though the sauce should reduce by about half during the simmering process, if you find it’s still too thin for your tastes, you can mix together 1 tsp of cornstarch with 1 1/2 tsp cold water, then stir that into the sauce as it simmers. Be aware though, like most sauces, as it cools, it will thicken a bit more.
While this glaze does have alcohol in it, I think the vast majority, if not all, the alcohol content is cooked off while the sauce is reducing. The good news is, there’s a very small amount of actual whiskey in this sauce/glaze… most of the flavor comes from all the other ingredients, so if you want to omit the whiskey, you can.
Since I don’t work for TGI Fridays or Jack Daniels, I’m not entirely sure. I just noticed a while ago that it was changed! My guess is that it has something to do with trademark laws, but I don’t really want to speculate. It’s still a delicious sauce 🙂
Well for one, not everyone may have access to purchase it. But also, I read a lot of reviews of that sauce, and people didn’t really find it tastes like their signature glaze. Plus, when you make it yourself, you can control the quality of ingredients, increase or decrease the spiciness, etc. I’m a huge fan of homemade sauces versus bottled.
Making whiskey glaze ahead of time
As with most sauce or glaze recipes, you can absolutely make this recipe ahead of time. It will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator (in an airtight container of course).
You can also prep it ahead by roasting the garlic, chopping the onion, measuring out the brown sugar, etc.
The biggest time saver when prepping ahead, is roasting the garlic. This can be done several days in advance, and saves about 40 to 50 minutes of time.
Leftover glaze should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within 1 week.
Before storing, make sure the glaze is cooled to room temperature.
For longer storage, whiskey glaze can be frozen!
Make sure the glaze has cooled to room temperature, then transfer to freezer-safe container, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
No need to break out a big pan for this recipe, so this 1.5 quart pan is perfect. It’s also great for reheating soups and more!
Recipe based on Allrecipes
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 head garlic
- drizzle of olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
Rest of whiskey glaze
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce reduced sodium is preferred
- 1 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp finely minced white onion
- 1 Tbsp whiskey Jack Daniels is the original whiskey used
- 1 Tbsp canned crushed pineapple
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper amount can be adjusted based on your tolerance for heat
- Heat oven to 400°F. Peel loose paper off the garlic, keeping the whole head together.
- Slice off the top 1/2” of the whole head, exposing the tops of the cloves. Place garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle the exposed cloves liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Wrap the foil up around the garlic, then place in baking dish and roast for 40-50 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Make the glaze
- Add pineapple juice, water, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to a medium saucepan and heat over MED HIGH heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally, then once lightly boiling, reduce heat to LOW so the mixture is simmering.
- Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out into a small bowl and mash the cloves until smooth. Alternately, you can add the cloves to the saucepan and use a whisk to mash them, but I've found it's difficult to get the garlic as smooth this way.
- Add lemon juice, white onion, whiskey, crushed pineapple and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine, then adjust heat if needed to keep the sauce simmering steadily.
- Let sauce simmer for 45-50 minutes, until sauce has reduced by about half and is syrupy in texture. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t boil over. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken a bit more as it cools.
- Set aside to cool a bit, then use immediately, or cool completely and store.
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- Recipe makes between 1 and 1 1/2 cups once reduced down. For serving size I estimate about 1-2 Tbsp per person, but feel free to serve this how you’d like.
StorageLeftover glaze should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used within 1 week. Before storing, make sure the glaze is cooled to room temperature.
FreezingFor longer storage, whiskey glaze can be frozen! Make sure the glaze has cooled to room temperature, then transfer to freezer-safe container, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.